I didn't expect to see many birds up on Route 610 (between mm. 2 and mm. 4 of the Blue Ridge Parkway) this morning, but I needed some exercise and wanted to get out of this continuing heat wave that has lasted more than a month. I stayed on Route 610 as the north end of the parkway is sill being resurfaced. At my first stop, the old tower, on Route 610, I got quick looks at one or two Cerulean Warblers, and a female American Redstart zipped by.
I contined south on 610, making a few stops, and hoped to see warblers just past old Elk Mountain Road. I saw an unexpected warbler there - Kentucky! I got quick looks at it on both sides of the road (see yellow arrows). I've been up on 610 a few times every week since mid-April, and this was Kentucky Warbler I have seen on Route 610, both this year and in any previous year. Until a few years ago, Kentucky Warblers nested along the Blue Ridge Parkway near mm. 2. I assume that this Kentucky Warbler had started migrating already. The Virginia "Goldbook" states that Kentucky Warblers can be here as late as September 10, but the Stokes warbler guide shows peak fall migration reaching the border between North and South Carolina on August 1. My photos of this bird aren't very good, but are clearly identifiable.
Kentucky Warbler location on Route 610
I continued south until I reached the intersection of 610 and mm. 4 of the parkway, and then turned around. I had 15 avian species on 610 between mm. 2 and mm. 4 of the parkway, and added two more species between mm. 2 and Rockfish Gap.
Juvenile Chipping Sparrow